Crosby, Neal power Giants to series lead

Northern Conference

Game 2: Copenhagen 5, Belfast 4

Brian Elliott had been holding off a furious Belfast comeback attempt but he gave up a late goal to Sidney Crosby and the two teams found themselves in sudden death overtime. Elliott made two key saves that left the door open for Stephen Weiss to be the hero again for the Tridents. Tomas Fleischmann raced into the Belfast zone, slammed on the brakes and fired a pass through the slot to Weiss, who caught it, looked up and zipped a wrist shot past Jonathan Quick’s glover hand. It was Weiss’ fourth goal in 9 playoff games this season, most of which he played injured. Brooks Laich also assisted on the goal. Laich is the Tridents’ leading scorer in the playoffs with 13 points in 14 games and he scored shorthanded to open the scoring on Friday. T.J. Brodie was the first star of the game. He scored twice and assisted on one goal. His first goal made it 3-0 Copenhagen early in the game and after Belfast fought back to tie it 3-3, Brodie scored again to give the Tridents a 4-3 lead. Copenhagen’s penalty killers stopped Belfast’s PP units 6 out of 6 times and came up with Laich’s shorthanded goal. The win on Belfast ice evened the series 1-1.

Game 3: Belfast 3, Copenhagen 1 – Belfast leads series 2-1

Cody Hodgson scored his first of the playoffs to snap a 1-1 tie in the second period, and Crosby added to the Belfast total 3 and a half minutes later to give the Giants the worst lead in hockey. Quick preserved the two-goal lead and he was nearly perfect Sunday, allowing only a Laich goal while stopped 23 other Copenhagen shots. James Neal opened the scoring on a powerplay and it was his 10th of the playoffs, making him the league’s leading playoff goal scorer. Crosby leads everyone in points with 18 in 12 games. On Sunday, Belfast’s Joe Pavelski didn’t get a point, but he led everyone in shots on goal with 8. The win wrested back home-ice advantage for the Giants. Both teams remained in Denmark for Tuesday’s Game 4 and both are fully healthy.

Southern Conference

Game 2: Paris 7, Athens 2 -series tied 1-1

After the Greeks were able to take Game 1 on Paris ice, the Eiffels frustrated them to no end with a 7-2 shellacking in Game 2. Paris came out like banshees, outshooting Athens 18-7 and scoring four times by the time the first period ended. And when they scored twice more in the second period, Athens got frustrated and took four straight penalties, putting a miracle comeback totally out of reach. The offensive stars for Paris were defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (1 goal, 2 assists) and Kris Letang (2 goals) as well as center Evgeny Malkin (1 goal and 2 assists). Corey Perry and Joffrey Lupul combined for 11 shots on the Athens net and 4 points. In the last minute of the game, Tim Gleason of the Greeks injured his shoulder but is expected to start today for Game 3 in Athens.

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